“You gotta use the app. That’s the accurate test”, my dad told my entire family. We were all at his house sitting around some psychologist’s book trying to figure out who we were. My enneagram test was a hard seven – on the nose, no wings. One of my sisters loves horoscopes, classic Taurus. As adults, we all have a method of evaluating new people, so might as well make it conscious. I’ve sent letters, family is completely non-refundable. So, they’re out of this equation. This is how I’ve started to think of new encounters.
“Friendship is an island that you retreat to. And you all fall on the floor and laugh at all the other ninnies who don’t have enough brains to have your good taste.”Ray Bradbury, 1972
I imagine a giant pie chart of everyone an individual will ever meet in their entire life. In fact, let’s look at Aussie Tom’s pie.
Assume he can split everyone he’s met into two 50/50 camps: North and South. Most interactions fall into the two largest camps; there, the impact is in action. If you didn’t have a particular position on Nancy from HR, but then Nancy from HR brought you a cupcake for your birthday… maybe you think Nancy is pretty cool. But upon biting into it, you realize it’s a drugged cake and she intends to get you fired… woah, not cool, Nance.
The closer you are to the poles, the more guttural and intense a reaction. At the poles exists a magnetic experience. North is the Top 3% of people you meet. ‘Click’ is not a legal or medical term, but it’s the best we can do. It is a resonance with another person – a best friend, a romantic partner, a mentor. We click like a redneck and new pair of Oakley’s. Like a Frenchman and a striped shirt – you were born to be together. There is something that lies beyond logic or reason. The crazier thing is that the feeling is a mirrored experience – what you feel, they feel. Instant bestfriendmenship.
Then… there’s the South Pole. Talking with these people is like playing darts with dull pencils. You’re wearing a mental hazmat suit around them. You’re baffled by their spouse, date or closest functional human who, inevitably, is a good friend of yours. When you aren’t around, they say things like, “I don’t think she likes me” and they could not be more correct. This is also a physical sensation, but it’s more of a blood boiling than a gut feeling.
Everyone has different thresholds for each – I tend to like most people I meet and I’m guaranteed to be on a few people’s South Pole. But to be able to look at someone and say, “Oh. Hey. We should be friends” is something I’ve gotten much better at over these last few years. The other end is not taking offense to someone’s dislike and accepting you’re on their South Pole.
Maybe this idea only works for sevens. Regardless, I’d love to know what you think!
Thanks for taking a sip,
This video specifically inspired much of this conversation – it’s an idea that I’ve had for a while now, but his conversation about friends brought it out. Hope you enjoyed!